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Forward to the Past: Strikes and Striking as Dialogue by other means in Nigeria’s Democratic Process
In Nigeria, from the colonial period to the present, the employment of strikes and protests by nationalists, Nigerian workers and civil society groups has been established as one of the potent means of conveying viewpoints, positions as well as the demand for equality, fairness, social justice and reforms. It has been used as dialogue by other means. This paper explores the adoption of industrial actions and general strikes in Nigeria, during the nationalist struggle, post independence politics and political agitations in Nigeria’s democratic process. The paper attempts to establish the nexus between this pattern and strategy utilized by the nationalists, civil society and the Nigerian workers and the culture of militancy, restiveness and aggression of labour unionism in contemporary Nigeria, especially since the return to democratic rule. It concludes that this trend was accentuated by several years of dictatorship and misrule, which has built into the consciousness of organized labour the culture of agitation and restiveness as a democratic option. This study adopted the historical method in terms of data collection, analysis and presentation. Both primary and secondary data were used for the study. These include archival materials, newspaper reports, journal articles and books.